New Delhi: A Delhi court has sentenced parents-in-law of a woman to seven years in jail for treating her cruelly and harassing her for dowry, saying that the "victim died an unnatural death."
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Kumar Goyal held 64- year-old Krishan Anand and his wife Veena, 63, guilty for the offences under section 498A (subjecting woman to cruelty) and 304B (dowry death) of IPC for harassing their daughter-in-law for dowry and compelling her to jump from the roof of her matrimonial house to commit suicide.
"There was demand of a car soon before her death. The victim died under unnatural circumstances during seven years of her marriage and prior to this demand also, she was treated with cruelty and was harassed on account of non?fulfilment of demand of dowry....," the judge said, while also imposing a fine of Rs 5,000 on each of the convicts.
The court also directed the couple to pay Rs 25,000 each as compensation to the parents of the victim.
It acquitted the victim's husband, saying that there was no evidence against him that "he was acting with co accused persons in furtherance of their common intention of demand of dowry".
It, however, observed that despite being the husband of the woman, he could not save her.
"He failed to uphold the dignity and status of his wife in his family, while she was being harassed and was treated with cruelty by her parents-in law. He never resisted the acts of accused persons to save his wife from the harassment and cruelty caused to her," it said.
According to the prosecution, on the morning of November 20, 2005, the brother of the woman was informed by her in-laws that she fell from the stairs of their house and was taken to hospital, where she was declared as brought dead.
The woman's brother lodged a complaint with the police saying that her husband and parents-in-law had been harassing her for quite sometime for dowry and they had compelled her to commit suicide by jumping from the roof along with her 13 month-old son, who survived the jump and was discharged from the hospital a week later, it said.